Defining Child Custody and Support

Child custody and support can be a rather difficult topic for any family to think about. But, when the situation arises, it can be helpful to be well-informed on the processes involved in setting up child custody/support following a separation. This article will detail said processes and assist with understanding the situation.

To begin, it is usually in the child’s best interest for a structured support system, both monetarily and supervisory, to be created for their safety and mental well-being. Having the influence of both parents to guide them into adulthood is critical for their success. But, in order for that support to be established, both parents must first reach a judicial, amicable agreement beneath a court of law.

How to Petition for Custody and Support

If a child’s parental guardians cannot reach an amicable agreement on their own terms, this matter can be petitioned via a lawsuit to elevate it to a court of law. Thankfully, the courts find it favorable to maintain parent-child relations for both parents and are unlikely to limit it within reason without cause. With the court’s assistance, both parents can then delegate the specifics of housing, education, medical care, and even religious upbringing.

What is Sole and Joint Custody

Part of the court’s delegation process is deciding whether sole or joint custody is necessary for a child’s well-being. Usually, the court will decide to allow joint custody for both parties unless the situation shows ample need for one parent to have sole custody. In general, joint custody can often be an unequal split of responsibilities for both parents. For example, the courts could decide to grant a parent longer amounts of custodial time or have primary physical custody of their child during the school year. If the situation is unfavorable for either party, thankfully, they can be modified at any time through either agreement or a direct petition to the courts for an amendment. The courts will typically search for a change in circumstances that could justify such modifications before enacting any.

Child Custody and Child Support

The court will consider the support arrangement for a child in question based on custody. Again, though, the custody situation is not always the sole determining factor. The court will examine all factors of obligations, income, expenses, and more to determine who pays what for the child’s care and how much. Additionally, the support orders can also define things like health insurance payments and which parent must pay for them – or which parent covers medical costs. It can even include obligations regarding a child’s education. Like with custody orders, support orders can be modified at any time through petition if the living situation changes… Or if something unfortunate occurs, their income level as well.

If you need further clarification on these issues, feel free to contact our specialists at Thompson Law. We would be more than happy to assist you with your needs and ensure that you are well-informed on the processes of custody arrangement.